About the Business Center

In 2011 New York State withdrew support and discontinued funding for work centers that employed people with disabilities. The Arc of Ulster-Greene work center on Cornell Street in Midtown Kingston was forced to close the 20,000 sq. ft. building and 300 people with disabilities became unemployed. In 2016, both the unemployment rate of people with disabilities, and the economic and development need to revitalize Midtown Kingston was increasing. The Arc of Ulster-Greene created the idea of bringing businesses into Kingston and employing people with disabilities at the vacant work center that is now the newly renovated Cornell Creative Business Center.

 

In Ulster County 65% of people with disabilities are unemployed, which is unacceptable. After reviewing many different employment sectors, The Arc of Ulster-Greene decided to create an artisan food production work center within Cornell Creative. The companies that are currently partnering with the Cornell Creative Business Center will receive reduced operating costs in return for hiring individuals with a disability. The plan is for the businesses to hire one or more employee with a disability and as their business grows so will the need to find larger accommodations. This will allow new businesses to move in and then the cycle begins all over again.

“Providing start-up businesses and people with disabilities the opportunity to learn, grow and prosper is what we are about,” says Gary Bellows, Business Development Officer for The Arc of Ulster-Greene. “We want to change the way people with disabilities are seen, and the businesses we brought into the Cornell Creative Business Center share the same values and appreciation as we do. Our goal is to get at least 25% of people with disabilities back working and earning a paycheck.”

The Cornell Creative Business Center provides nine artisan work sites which includes a shared shipping and receiving warehouse and will allow businesses to have their employees produce, package, label and ship their products. The Arc of Ulster-Greene carefully chose specific start-up businesses from all over the United States that have proven to show profit in their product, share our vision and are excited to be a part of this unique relationship. These companies have invested in Ulster County in hopes to grow their business, increase economic development in the area and promote overall good health in the community.